Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Today was supposed to be warm and sunny and so we planned on gathering goldenrod for dyeing a piece of thin cotton for our nature table.  We have goldenrod all around us, but up the hill is a huge "meadow" of it.  There we spent more than an hour, gathering goldenrod, looking at purple asters, watching turkey vultures, and finding interesting insects.  The goldenrod was so tall that the children almost disappeared in it.

Back home, we cleaned the blossoms off the leaves and put everything in our huge canning pot. 

We simmered it for an hour and will let it sit on the stove overnight (no heat).  Tomorrow we will dye our material. 
During early Mass this morning, Father talked about St. Matthew's conversion, and about how God's grace changes us ever so gently and slowly over the years.  Our main lessons were about the water cycle, classification of fruits, and how the Romans abducted the Sabine women.  More about this tomorrow.

Heute sollte es warm und sonnig sein, und so haben wir einen Goldrautentag geplant.  Wir wollen ein Tuch für unseren Jahreszeitentisch damit färben.  Goldraute wächst hier überall, aber besonders auf einer "Wiese", wenn man den Berg bei unserer Straße hinauffährt.  Dort haben wir mehr als eine Stunde Goldraute gepflückt, uns über die violetten Herbstastern gefreut, Truthahngeier beobachtet und viele interessante Insekten gefunden.  Die Goldraute war so groß, daß die Kinder fast darin verschwunden sind.  Zu Hause haben wir dann die Blüten von den Blättern befreit und alle in einen großen Einmachtopf gegeben.  Dort haben sie eine Stunde mit Wasser geköchelt, jetzt können sie über Nacht ziehen.  Morgen wollen wir dann färben. 

Während der Frühmesse heute morgen hat der Pfarrer über die Bekehrung von Matthäus geredet und darüber, wie Gottes Gnade uns Stück für Stück vorsichtig und zart verwandelt.  Unsere Hauptepochen gingen über den Wasserkreislauf, die Einteilung von Früchten und den Raub der Sabinerinnen. 

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  1. I'm so grateful to have found your blog it is a source of encouragement and knowledge. I too am a Catholic mother and home educating our youngest children aged 7 years and 20 months.

  2. Toller Tag! Bin gespannt auf eure Färberergebnisse. Wir wollen in ein paar Wochen auch Färben. Ich danke dir auch deshalb für deine tollen Tipps.

  3. Welcome, San! I've seen you on "Kind Conversation". Are you still active there? I haven't looked there recently because I don't have my own computer and have limited online time.

    I've visted your blog and look forward to learning more about you.

  4. So genau wissen wir noch nicht was wir färben werden. Als Gedanken stehen: Wolle, Tücher, T-Shirt, ... Mal gucken :)

    Wow, eure Tücher sind toll geworden. Wirklich ein schönes gelb. Ihr findet Alaun im Supermarkt?! Denke hier werde ich in die Apotheke gehen müssen.

    Nochmals danke für die tolle Anleitung.

  5. I didn't realise you were on there! I'm not terribly active on KC as I post on a Green Parent forum here in the UK.

    Must admit I have good days and not so good days when it comes to HE. I think Benedict finds it hard as it is so often one on one with either me or his Dad. He's definitely not keen on Maths can you recommend a good hands on curriculum?
    Blessings to you all
    San x

  6. I think everybody has good and bad days, not different from "real" school. I remember when I had just one child (my son) to teach. At home the student gets the whole attention from the "teacher." He cannot really hide. That's sometimes difficult -- for parent and child. Sometimes it helps to just create some breathing space and do something fun together or to do nothing together, but do something separately.

    Math curriculum:

    For the first three grades, all my children have used Miquon Math. In addition to that I've used RightStart Math and Singapore Math. My main curriculum is Live Education!, but I've always supplemented it with different books. To determine which math book is best for your child, check out the Learning Style Test at Mercy Academy. The lady who offers it is a Catholic homeschooling mother. The results are amazing. I've done the test with three of my children so far, and they are so accurate. They've been very helpful in deciding what materials to buy. You get a several page long description of your child plus a long list with textbooks and materials that go well with a Catholic homeschool experience. What are you using right now?

  7. CCETSI,womit wollt Ihr färben? Vor vielen Jahren habe ich mal Seidentücher und Beutelchen gefärbt. Das hat Spaß gemacht und die Kinder spielen immer noch mit den Tüchern. Man kann Alaun hier im Supermarkt kaufen. Amerikaner benutzen es, um Rinde von Wassermelonen einzulegen. Man kann hier eigentlich alles im Supermarkt kaufen: Antibiotika, Paracetamol, Hustensaft und natürlich Lebensmittel!

  8. Thank you for the link re learning styles, I will check out the web site. We currently use cuisenaire rods and an associated workbook. Sometimes we use the scheme recommended by Benedict's old school. We still have links with them and they have been very supportive. Our reason to HE was due to Benedict's diabetic condition which is medically difficult to stabilize, rather than our dissatisfaction with the school.

    Benedict is the same age as Miriam and I had a peek at your second grade curriculum. Did you write it yourself or did you use Oak Meadow/Christopherus resources as a guide? I've also noticed you recommend putting the heart back into teaching, would you recommend it as a must have read?

    Hope you don't mind me bombarding you with questions but it is so lovely for me to have someone to "speak" to who is coming from a faith background with an interest in similar teaching styles!
    God Bless

  9. I put my resources together by using many different recommendations (Christopherus, the learning style results, Stockmeyer's description of the Waldorf school curriculum), always supplementing "Live Education!," our main curriculum.

    I love "Putting the Heart Back into Teaching." I use it during circle time for veses, speech exercises, finger plays, sometimes for stories, and songs. I even wrote to South Africa to buy a copy because it isn't available in the U.S. right now. (I later found a used copy, though).

    I'm not a math person, so the learning style test came to the rescue by helping me find materials that would explain this topic to each child. If your son doesen't like the cuisenaire rods, he might enjoy Singapore Math, which doesn't use many manipulatives, but goes from the picture/story to the abstract for each new concept. If he likes to use manipulatives, RightStart Math would be great for him. It's all scripted for the teacher and really uses manipulatives with a purpose. Miquon Math is more for the creative child. It uses cuisenaire rods, but not too much.

  10. Dear Eva,

    Thank you so much for all this information. Benedict did the learning style assessment and it was a real eye opener for me!

    I will check out the Math resources you recommend and will also look into a ready made curriculum.

    I'm feeling so much more positive about our Home School journey and all credit is to you for helping me find the right tools for the job! I know we'll continue to have good and bad days but if my frame of mind is right, then that can only be a good thing.

    With grateful thanks
    San x

  11. I am so glad I could help you on your homeschool journey. Blessings to you and your family.


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